Sochi is the Florida of Russia, but cheaper. It is famous for its subtropical vegetation, hotels and sanatoria. People from all over the Soviet Union associate the coastal city with beach holidays and first loves. The smell of sunscreen, sweat, alcohol and roasting meat pervades the air. Nothing happens here in the winter. But that’s about to change. The Winter Games are coming to town.
The Sochi Project is by photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen who are reporting the area around the city which was chosen for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Caucasus. Is an ongoing project that started in 2009 and due to stop in 2014. The idea of the project is to document the area including the residents of Sochi and to also show the construction of the Olympics as it is the most expensive one yet! The area is known as one of the most volatile and violent regions on this planet. What is interesting about this project is that everyone is familiar with the leadership in Russia of Vladimir Putin and how he runs the country, he is trying to show just the good side of the olympics without the violence but the project is showing the truth about the city. The Sochi Project has been heavily scrutinised by the government in Russia even to the point where Hornstra’s visa may be rejected to go over there as they dont want any bad press about the city that is hosting the winter Olympics.
When the media go to the Olympics in 2014 to broadcast it to the rest of the world it will not be showing all the violence etc of the area but just feeding us the good bits that Putin want to be shown, this makes this whole project even more interesting as it shows a gradual story of this city and how it is developing to research it target by winter 2014.